... [a] charming, funny, touching, and relevant comedy ... Along with the love affair, Hornby covers the issues of the day with snappy take-no-prisoners commentary ... On every page, racial tensions abound ... And, of course, because this is a Nick Hornby novel, there’s plenty of music ... Throughout, the plot twists and turns; the reader laughs and winces ... As these scenes build toward a surprising, well-earned ending, Hornby continues to ask: Should we choose someone just like us, or take a risk? ... My only quibble, among such pleasures, lies in certain passages of dialogue, however crackling, that are unattributed, forcing me to backtrack to figure out which lines belong to what speaker, a slight irritation that, on occasion, interrupted the flow. Nevertheless, even if, upon finishing, readers might still not want to kiss their butchers, they’ll be all too willing to plant a smooch on the author of this delicious, prime-cut, filet mignon of a novel.
In this age of anxiety about cultural appropriation and suchlike, kudos to Nick Hornby’s bold move in Just Like You, He narrates one half of it from the point of view of a working-class black man in his early 20s and the other half from the point of view of a 42-year-old middle-class white mother. And, what’s more, he makes a social comedy of the two of them falling in love, one that gently dramatises their differences of class, race and generation ... By setting most of Just Like You in 2016, what’s more, Hornby stirs in that great exposer of fissures in class, race and generation: the Brexit referendum ... Hornby is surefooted around all these issues, amiable and forgiving ... Does he tell us much that we don’t already know or think we don’t already know? On this I’m not sure. Just Like You – as a comedy of class difference and of the soft racism of bien-pensant liberals – invites comparison with Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age and seems to me to lack some of that novel’s sharpness. I don’t think there’s much in here to challenge or discomfit ... But why should there be? It is frequently funny, consistently engaging and it’s not primarily a sociological treatise or a satire: it’s a love story. It may not have fire in its belly, but it has great warmth in its heart.
Hornby’s latest novel, Just Like You” sees him dispensing with other topics and focusing entirely on the relationship between his two lead characters and its impact on those around them. He doesn’t sell his reader short, for this love affair is like nothing we have encountered before in his fiction. Marked by significant differences and fraught with huge uncertainties, it requires both parties to compromise to make it work and resemble more than just 'something between things' ... Hornby writes about human connection and interaction with facility and acuity, and always in the most engaging prose. He makes us care deeply for his two protagonists as they follow their instincts—falling in love, falling apart, then making another go of it ... Hornby’s characters articulate their hopes and fears throughout expertly crafted dialogue and well executed scenarios. Astute and emotionally involving, this is a bittersweet tale about opposites attracting, then trying to stay together.